At the “Grandes Gueules”, we are worried about a possible drop in the level of French students. And more particularly at the cultural level, when children’s literature seems to have replaced the classics of literature.
Fewer books, more smartphones? Nearly 20% of children between the ages of 5 and 8 do not have books at home, reveals a study by the National Literacy Trustan NGO that promotes literacy.
This figure is the highest observed since 2019 and is linked to the rise in the cost of living. In fact, 87% of parents indicate that they have lost income and 64% that they have restricted spending on books. 51% simply consider that books are too expensive now.
What make the “Big Gueules” wonder: have our children become uneducated? Yes, pleads Barbara Lefebvre, the ex-teacher in retraining who does not oppose reading and screens but invites us to reinvest libraries: “We may not have books at home because we have no money. , but you can always go to libraries and media libraries. This was already done before,” she recalls.
She believes today that the National Education and many parents, from the working classes but also from the more affluent classes, no longer provide the cultural baggage necessary for opening up to the world of children.
And reading is not enough for Barbara Lefebvre who tackles children’s literature: “My daughter has read everything”Percy Jackson“. It’s nonsense and it’s only business. The role of the school is to make him read “Ovid’s Metamorphoses“. Children’s literature has invaded school curricula. Primary school teachers make children read children’s literature!”.
“The school should be responsible for transmitting the fundamental cultural knowledge that makes us a civilizational heritage,” pleads the former teacher.
For Olivier Truchot, culture is changing: “Culture is no longer just Victor Hugo, it is expanding,” he believes. To the great displeasure of Barbara Lefebvre: “Soon Guillaume Musso at the baccalaureate? We are moving forward”, she quips.
“There is laziness”
For Kaouther Ben Mohamed, a trained educator and mother of a little boy, “children no longer know how to read today”. “Beyond the spelling problems, there is a problem of access to education,” laments the president of “Marseille angry”.
For Benjamin, a teacher in Val-de-Marne, the level and motivation are falling: “I have noticed for a long time that young people no longer understand anything. There is laziness. When they see a long text, it scares them They read the beginning and then they stop,” he laments, also seeing a drop in the scientific culture of the students.
In the latest Pisa ranking (International Program for Student Assessment) published by the OECD in December 2019, France ranked 23rd out of 79 countries assessed, at the same level as in 2016, the date of the last study. The next ranking is to be unveiled in December 2022.